MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. – Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a former U.S. Air Force military police officer was sentenced in Superior Court today to 10 years in New Jersey state prison for causing an automobile accident in Bordentown Township in late 2015 that killed two people, including her estranged husband.
Under the sentence handed down by the Hon. Philip E. Haines, J.S.C., Shade Cooper, 28, of East Granby, Connecticut, must serve 8 1/2 years before becoming eligible for parole. She was convicted in June by a jury on two counts of Reckless Manslaughter (Second Degree).
The investigation revealed that on December 2, 2015, the day of the fatal accident, Nicholas Cooper was visiting his children at Shade Cooper’s apartment on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. BCPO Assistant Prosecutor Dustin Coolidge argued during the trial that Shade Cooper became angry when another woman – Jocelyn Redding – came to pick him up when the visit was over.
Shade Cooper followed them in her vehicle for approximately 10 miles, at one point striking the Hyundai Elantra being driven by Redding. As the pursuit continued at high speed, Redding was unable to negotiate a curve in the roadway near the intersection of Route 545 and Clifton Mills Road. Her vehicle entered the oncoming lane and was struck by a pickup truck. The impact sent Redding’s vehicle off the roadway into a wooded area, killing Nicholas Cooper, 26, and Redding, 23, of Hamilton Township, Mercer County.
The driver of the pickup truck was treated and released at an area hospital.
“This is a tragic case, made even worse by the fact that it was entirely avoidable,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “Actions taken in anger often result in disastrous outcomes, like what happened here. There is no sentence remotely comparable to the profound loss of these two families, but hopefully they will find some comfort from today’s proceeding.”
The investigation was conducted by the Bordentown Township Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. The lead investigators for Bordentown Township were Police Chief Brian Pesce, Captain Shawn Mount and Sgt. Frank Nucera III. Major Crimes Unit Detective Brian Miller was the case agent for the Prosecutor’s Office.